Release | nobu Kawashima
Going around Hokkaido (20) Hamanaka to Akkeshi: From majestic Kiritappu to Akkeshi, the home of oysters
Going around the coastline of Hokkaido! In the twentieth article, I will drive from Cape Kiritappu in Hamanaka-Cho to Michi No Eki in Akkeshi-Cho.
I will first see Cape Kiritappu and Azechi Cape, where the coastline with cliffs continues, then spend a relaxing time at Kiritappu Wetlands, a Ramsar site.
I will drive from Hamanaka-Cho to Akkeshi-Cho after enjoying a while in nature. I then will enjoy the panoramic views from Pirikauta Observatory and Cape Aikappu and finish my day at today’s final destination: Conchiglie (Michi No Eki Akkeshi Gourmet Park). I enjoyed a fantastic view of Akkeshi Bay and Lake Akkeshi there, then had plenty of dishes using oysters from Akkeshi!
▲I enjoyed raw and grilled oysters sourced in Akkeshi. You can also enjoy sea urchins and scallops.
Table of Contents- About the series: Going around Hokkaido
- About the route: Cape Kiritappu in Hamanaka-Cho to Conchiglie (Michi No Eki Akkeshi Gourmet Park) in Akkeshi-Cho
- Cape Kiritappu to Azechi Cape: Looking down the inhabited island from the top of cliffs
- Azechi Cape to Kiritappu Wetlands Biwase Wooden Path: Spent a night in the middle of the majestic Kiritappu Wetlands
- Kiritappu Wetlands Biwase Wooden Path to Pirikauta Observatory: Is it Sanpu or Chirippu?
- Pirikauta Observatory to Conchiglie (Michi No Eki Akkeshi Gourmet Park): I had so much at the oyster town!
* I used pictures taken on different days in this article. Therefore, the colors of the sky and weather look different.
About the series: Going around HokkaidoThis is a part of the series of articles to introduce my journey to go around Hokkaido. I will introduce my relaxing trip about visiting cities and towns, enjoying beautiful views, having delicious foods, and encountering fascinating people.
Below are the basic rules about the project:
- Basically, drive only National Routes or Hokkaido Roads along coastlines.
- I can use municipal roads near central towns, promontories, etc. However, I try not to use community roads and private roads.
- I only drive the mainland of Hokkaido. (I’m sorry to those live in islands!)
- I drive from the sunrise to the sunset to enjoy the views.
- I divide my journey into a few times according to the coverage schedule.
About the route: Cape Kiritappu in Hamanaka-Cho to Conchiglie (Michi No Eki Akkeshi Gourmet Park) in Akkeshi-Cho▲The route of this article (Google My Maps)
Route: From Hamanaka-Cho to Akkeshi-Cho
Mileage: Approx. 59 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 1 hour 40 mins (except breaks, time to stop at sightseeing spots, and the detour)
Check the detailed map from the link below!
Going around Hokkaido (19) -
Going around Hokkaido (11) -
Going around Hokkaido (1) - (10)
You can find the previous article of the series here:
Going around Hokkaido (19) Higashi-Nemuro Station to Cape Kiritappu: Seaside driving along northern Pacific Sea where cliffs continue
▲Going around Hokkaido has come this much! (Google My Maps)
Cape Kiritappu to Azechi Cape: Looking down the inhabited island from the top of cliffsCape Kiritappu to Azechi Cape
Mileage: Approx. 4 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 10 mins
I will start from Cape Kiritappu Observatory, where you can get a clear view of Cape Kiritappu in Hamanaka-Cho.
▲Cape Kiritappu’s official name is Tofutsu Cape.
This is a viewpoint located at several hundred meters before Cape Kiritappu. From here, you can see the cape sticking out to the sea.
Let’s go to Cape Kiritappu from Kiritappu Observatory.
▲There is a parking near the lighthouse of the cape.
▲The view from here is very nice. It looks like the end of the world.
Cape Kiritappu is one of the most famous tourist destinations in eastern Hokkaido. However, there is another cape where you can enjoy fantastic views like Cape Kiritappu.
That is “Azechi Cape.”
Cape Kiritappu is on the east side of the cliff sticking out to the sea in Hamanaka-Cho. Azechi Cape is on the west side of the cliff. You can get to Azechi Cape in just a few minutes by car, and there is a totally different view from Cape Kiritappu.
▲You can get the view of the ocean when you drive on top of the cliff. But focus on driving!
You will arrive at Azechi Cape after driving a few minutes on the narrow road. It’s only about a minute walk from the parking to the observatory.
▲It looks like observatory is over there! The view seems really nice.
Azechi Cape is a cape faced to Biwase Bay. You can get the view of small islands offshore; Gome Island, Kenbokki Island, and the coastline of Hamanaka-Cho.
▲What do you think of this view? Isn’t this fascinating?
▲You can also see Hamanaka-Cho’s downtown that spread on a sandbar.
Cape Kiritappu on the east and Azechi Cape on the west both let us enjoy majestic views. I can’t judge which one is better. What do you think?
Azechi Cape to Kiritappu Wetlands Biwase Wooden Path: Spent a night in the middle of the majestic Kiritappu WetlandsAzechi Cape to Kiritappu Wetland Biwase Wooden Path
Mileage: Approx. 6 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 15 mins
Let’s leave amazing views of the cape behind and enjoy the fascinating landscape of wetlands next. Pass the town of Hamanaka-Cho, cross the bridge, and turn left at Hokkaido Road no. 123, which goes to the direction of Akkeshi-Cho.
There are houses and convenience stores by the road. However, you can also notice vast Kiritappu Wetlands at the far right.
▲I could see this amazing landscape on the right side of the road after driving for just a few minutes!
My next destination is “Biwase Wooden Path” in Kiritappu Wetlands. It’s an approximately 500 meters (one-way) trail, which starts from Hokkaido Road no. 123 to deep in the wetlands. Visitors can enjoy the seasonal views of majestic landscapes of wetlands and flowers as they walk in the wetlands.
I arrived at the wooden path only after a few minutes after crossing the bridge.
▲I visited there in winter, so there are no flowers, but snowy scenery was actually quite nice.
It’s not enough to just see the wetlands for a while and take some pictures. If you come here, you should spend some time in nature.
So I stayed at B&B Porch, which is located right next to the Biwase Wooden Path.
▲B&B Porch is located in front of Kiritappu Wetlands.
The days are short in mid-winter, especially around December. The days are even shorter in eastern Hokkaido due to its latitude/longitude. It looks like a late afternoon at past 2:00 PM, evening at past 3:00 PM, and the sun already sets down before 4:00 PM.
▲I experienced the sunset at 3:39 PM on this day. So early!
I watched the sun going down to Kiritappu Wetlands. It was too beautiful that I could not speak a word.
I spend a slow night as I feel nature with my whole body. I felt the richness and the value of life in nature.
You may also find this article interesting:
Experience beautiful nature of Kiritappu Wetland at B&B Porch
Kiritappu Wetlands Biwase Wooden Path to Pirikauta Observatory: Is it Sanpu or Chirippu?Kiritappu Wetlands Biwase Wooden Path to Pirikauta Observatory
Mileage: Approx. 32 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 40 mins
I left B&B Porch on the next morning to head to Akkeshi-Cho. To get the last view of majestic Kiritappu Wetlands before going to Akkeshi-Cho, I stopped by “Biwase Observatory.”
▲This is a fantastic place to look down Kiritappu Wetlands from an uphill.
The fascinating view that I could not resist saying “wow” came in front of my eyes after I parked the car and walked up to the observatory.
I could look down Biwase River, which curves as it flows in Kiritappu Wetland and the coastline of Hamanaka-Cho where I was until a while ago.
I think it’s very nice that there is a place like this along the road to get such a scenic view. I felt like all my stress got relieved after getting this view. I now can enjoy driving in a refreshed mind.
I had to say goodbye to the wetlands from here.
I kept driving the road with lots of curves in the woods for a while. I noticed a pond on the right.
I guess only locals can read the Kanji “火散布” as Hichirippu. People would normally read Hisanpu or Kasanpu. I learned this Kanji “散布” reads chirippu.
I noticed another pond after seeing Hichirippu Pond.
▲The next pond was Mochirippu Pond and Mochirippu River.
This one, too: people won’t be able to read this Kanji without knowing it.
There are many place names called “something Chirippu” in this area, such as Watari Chirippu, Maruyama-Chirippu, Yourou Chirippu, etc.
Chirippu means clams in the Ainu Language. Does it mean this area had plenty of clams?
▲I entered to Akkeshi-Cho from Hamanaka-Cho after seeing many something Chirippus. I passed the country sign.
The first place I visited in Akkeshi-Cho was Pirikauta Observatory.
We have limitations of roads and facilities in winter because of snow, etc. It’s common to encounter difficult roads to pass due to snow and ice, especially small roads and any roads that are not main roads.
I chose smoother roads to drive even though it took more time. Then I finally arrived at the parking of Pirikauta Observatory. I walked a few minutes from the parking to the observatory on the hill.
▲I could look down Akkeshi Bay, the home of oysters, and the coastline of Akkeshi-Cho far away.
▲I could only see the silhouettes of Kojima Island and Daikoku Island because the sun was in front of me.
I got hungry by thinking that Akkeshi was the home of oysters. I’m getting close to oyster dishes!
Pirikauta Observatory to Conchiglie (Michi No Eki Akkeshi Gourmet Park): I had so much at the oyster town!Pirikauta Observatory to Conchiglie (Michi No Eki Akkeshi Gourmet Park)
Mileage: Approx. 17 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 35 mins
I visited around the tourist destinations in Akkeshi-Cho on the way to Conchiglie (Michi No Eki Akkeshi Gourmet Park).
I first visited Cape Aikappu.
I got to the downtown after driving in the forest for a while and going down the hill. I drove the mountain road again to the parking at the end of the road. After walking a few minutes on the snowy road from the parking, I noticed the monument.
▲“Love Bell Arch” at Cape Aikappu. It is said that your wish comes true if you ring the bell.
▲Cape Aikappu is on the cliff of approximately 80 meters height. You can look down Akkeshi Bay.
Aikappu means “a thing on an arrow” in the Ainu language.
It was named in the sense that “arrows don’t reach,” which means “get over the difficulties and gain the crown of love.”
The weather was not very nice when I visited, but I imagine the view would be amazing on a sunny day. I would love to visit here again.
I left Cape Aikappu to the downtown.
▲I got the view of Akkeshi-Cho’s downtown and the ocean down the hill!
▲I passed in front of an old temple Kokutaiji Temple, which was established in the late Edo Period.
▲I crossed Akkeshi Bridge in between Akkeshi Bay and Lake Akkeshi. The red truss bridge is impressive.
I arrived at Conchiglie (Michi No Eki Akkeshi Gourmet Park) after crossing Akkeshi Bridge, passing the downtown with many shopping facilities, and going up the hill.
▲The downtown of Akkeshi, seen from near the parking of Michi No Eki. The red Akkeshi Bridge adds a great accent to the landscape.
This Michi No Eki has many restaurants where you can enjoy Akkeshi oyster dishes. Raw, steamed, grilled, deep-fried, and desserts!
Which one would you like to try?
I visited all the restaurants to have as many oysters as I can!
▲I grilled Akkeshi oysters and scallops, etc., on a charcoal stove. I can’t wait to eat!
If you are interested in how much oysters you can have, you should check out the article below!
You may also find this article interesting:
Have as many oysters as you want at “Conchiglie” in Akkeshi!
I got extremely full… you should make yourself starved before visiting here!
This is it for today.
In the next article, I will leave Conchiglie (Michi No Eki Akkeshi Gourmet Park) and pass the area with difficult-to-read place names in Kushiro-Cho and finish my day at Nusamai Bridge, the famous tourist destination in Kushiro City.
Text, photo/Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima
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